National Professional Qualification for Executive Leaders


The current contract to deliver the National Professional Qualifications ends in 2022, with the final date for submission being Spring 2022. This means that all programmes starting in Spring 2021 will run for 14 months, rather than the previously advertised maximum of 18 months. The average time for Leadership East participants to submit successfully for assessment is 14 months and we are therefore confident that this is a reasonable time for completion. We have tailored the timings between delivered sessions to optimise learning and the time allowed for work on assessment tasks. Participants are advised to start to prepare their projects for assessment at the earliest possible stage of their qualification in order to allow contingency time should any amendments to tasks be necessary. Any participants having commenced the programme prior to Spring 2021 will have been informed of their final deadline for assessment.

Participants will have been informed of any remaining training sessions for their programme. For Leadership East central groups, these sessions will take place on the Zoom based platform integrated into the Learner Management System (LMS). The LMS can be accessed here.
Core sessions are a mandatory part of participants completion of the NPQ programme.

The NPQ programmes are an assessed suite of qualifications accredited by the DfE. To complete the qualifications participants must submit for assessment.

Participants will have been advised of their assessment deadlines and given access to the Leadership East Assessment Platform (LEAP).

LEAP can be accessed here.

The Department for Education understands that the ongoing restrictions because of coronavirus (COVID-19) have exacerbated the challenges faced by some NPQ participants in undertaking the requisite activity to enable them to satisfy the criteria, as set out in the Content and Assessment framework (CAF), for completion of their final assessment projects. In response, the DfE has agreed with the Quality Assurance Agent (Tribal Education Ltd) to put in place some flexibilities to ensure that NPQ participants are not disadvantaged because of the impact of COVID-19 on schools.

The flexibility is optional and full details can be found here.

A note about deferring
The final date for all NPQs to be assessed under the current contract with the DfE is March 2022. After this date we are not permitted to process any further submissions for assessment so that qualifications can meet the relevant timelines for being assessed, moderated and awarded before the contract for delivery of the current NPQs ends in August 2022.

This means that in order to still have the opportunity to achieve the qualification, if you are considering deferral, you would need to have completed your face to face events and your assessment task in time to submit by March 2022. If this is not possible you may need to withdraw from the programme in March 2022.

Regrettably, we have no authorisation to approve deferrals to return beyond that date.

How do I apply to study a National Professional Qualification for Autumn 2021?
After over 15 years’ proud delivery of the National Professional Qualifications Framework, Leadership East is equally proud to now be supporting delivery of the Church of England/Catholic Education Service NPQs via local teaching school hubs in the Eastern region. We thank all colleagues and participants for your support for Leadership East – past, present and exciting future. Click here to find out more.

What is Leadership East’s Complaints Policy?
Full details of our Complaints Handling Policy can be downloaded here.

Do you have any further questions?
If you have any further queries about the National College Leadership Curriculum, or Leadership East, you can call us on 01223 491690 or e-mail

A downloadable version of this information can be accessed here.

Leadership East – How we use your data

Agreement for data collection and analysis

In registering /applying for a place on the NPQ programme, you are agreeing to the collection and sharing of personal data*, such as your name and TRN, with the Department for Education (DfE).

You can find more information about DfE at

The information below explains:

  • what data will be collected
  • why data is being shared with DfE
  • other opportunities to contribute to the evaluation
  • what makes it lawful to collect and share the data with DfE.
  • how this affects you
  • security and confidentiality information
  • contact details for further information.

What personal data will we collect and share with DfE and its approved contractors?

For each participant, we will collect and share the following (referred to as personal data) with DfE:

*Personal data:

  • Name of applicant/participant
  • Teacher Reference Number
  • Current job role/post
  • Date of Birth

*Special category data:

  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Disability (if applicable)

What is the purpose of the data sharing?

Personal data will be collected and shared with DfE for the purpose of research, evaluation, planning and statistical analysis. This will enable DfE to:

  • monitor performance of each provider
  • deliver Quality Assurance (QA) of each provider
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the NPQ programme
  • understand the characteristics of who accesses, completes and benefits from it and in what way, and who does not
  • identify good practice and opportunities to improve the NPQ delivery model
  • understand the outcomes for participants, schools and pupils and any opportunities to improve these outcomes.

The evaluation will directly inform the review of performance and quality of delivery by providers, any improvements to NPQ programme policy and delivery and the outcomes for future participants.

How will DfE use the personal data we share with them?

We will collect and share personal data from your application form and from your NPQ journey (e.g. if you withdraw, complete etc.) with DfE (and Quality Assurance Agency, and external evaluator working on its behalf).

DfE will:

  1. Analyse the personal data from your application form to understand the characteristics of teachers applying for the NPQ (and thereby identifying other groups who are not applying). DfE will use this information to explore the characteristics of participants who withdraw, drop out or complete and any common factors e.g. NPQ level, region.
  2. Link and match this data with other information that DfE already collects or holds (e.g. School Workforce Census, national statistics for schools, Edubase) or data to which it is lawfully permitted access e.g. regional economic information. This enables analysis of the longer-term benefits of the NPQ programme, e.g. how many people progress/are promoted, how long it takes and if there are other factors that help or hinder this progress. This means we can avoid asking you to give us the same information twice. DfE will not share any information that will identify you, or any other third party, unless it is required to do so by law.

How will I be asked to contribute to the evaluation?

  1. At the start of the programme, on behalf of DfE, we will invite all participants to complete an online evaluation survey about your expectations and reasons for applying. At the end of the NPQ programme, we will ask you to reflect on your use of what you have learnt. The responses to the survey will be treated in confidence and we will not see them. During the programme, the Quality Assurance Agency will invite you to complete a survey asking you about the content of the NPQ and its delivery.
  2. In addition, DfE (or a contracted organisation working on its behalf) may contact you to ask you to assist with their research by taking part in telephone or face-to-face interviews; the purpose of this is to provide a richer understanding of your views and experiences. Please note that, if contacted, you will be under no obligation to take part and you can change your mind at any time. If you do agree to participate, you will not be identified or identifiable in any results of the evaluation.

What makes our sharing of your personal data with DfE lawful?

Any additional sharing of personal data provided on your application form will only take place where the law allows it.

We will share personal data with DfE for the purposes of research, evaluation, planning and statistical analysis that is in the public interest.

The Data Protection Act 2018 states ‘personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and in particular, shall not be processed unless:

  1. At least one of the conditions in Section 8 of the Data Protection Act 2018 is met, and
  2. In the case of special category personal data, at least one of the conditions in Schedule 1 is also met’

The conditions under which it is lawful for this to happen are:

  • The Part 2, Chapter 2 Lawfulness of processing: In Article 6(1) of the GDPR (lawfulness of processing), the reference in point (e) to processing of personal data that is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of the controller’s official authority includes processing of personal data that is necessary for part (d)the exercise of a function of the Crown, a Minister of the Crown or a government department.
  • The Schedule 1 Part 2, 6 (2) condition: Statutory etc and government purposes for collecting and processing sensitive personal data on a participant’s disability is condition and racial or ethnic origin. (b)the exercise of a function of the Crown, a Minister of the Crown or a government department.

How does this affect you/participants?

  • Our sharing of this personal data with DfE (or its contracted partner working on its behalf) will have no influence on the outcome of your application or your participation in the NPQ and the findings of DfE’s research will not identify you or any other applicants.
  • Any reported findings will appear at an aggregated level with no individual applicant, participant or school identified OR identifiable.

Security and confidentiality

Any personal data shared with DfE (and organisations acting on its behalf) will be handled securely and confidentially. It will be used for the purposes of monitoring, quality assurance and evaluation of NPQ programme, and for related research on recruitment, personal development, leadership and retention.

Further information

For further information on how we process your personal data for the purposes of the NPQ, please contact: The Director, Leadership East at

If you would like to know more about what personal data is being collected and how this is used by DfE to improve the NPQ programme, please contact:

The evaluation surveys will be conducted by an external contractor employed by DfE and managed by Zoey Breuer. If you have any questions about how DfE will use your information for research and evaluation purposes, please contact: